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Drew Brees restructures contract with Saints

Drew Brees, Saints

The New Orleans Saints were one play away from winning the NFC last season. To maximize their chances of taking advantage should a similar opportunity present itself going forward, the team has restructured the contract of its franchise icon.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Saints have amended the contract of quarterback Drew Brees, clearing an additional $10.8 million in cap space with decreasing the MVP runner-up’s salary for 2019. New Orleans reportedly hopes to use the extra financial flexibility afforded by Brees’ updated deal to re-sign backup signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater and sign free-agent tight end Jared Cook.

Brees, 40, enjoyed perhaps the finest season of his storied career in 2018, throwing for 32 touchdowns, just five interceptions, and 3,992 yards while completing a staggering 74.4 percent of his passes. He finished second in MVP voting to Kansas City Chiefs wunderkind Patrick Mahomes, who put up one of the most statistically gaudy seasons in NFL history as a first-time starter.

Unfortunately for the Saints, though, Brees wasn’t quite at his best when it mattered most, throwing for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in his team’s heartbreaking overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game. New Orleans nearly advanced to the Super Bowl despite Brees’ unspectacular performance, beset by a controversial no-call on a blatant pass interference penalty late in the fourth quarter that forced the team to settle for a field goal.

The Saints have been relatively quiet in free agency thus far, replacing longtime back Mark Ingram with free agent Latavius Murray and making kicker Wil Lutz the highest-paid kicker in NFL history.